USDA Grants, New Farmer Training Grants, More…

beginning farmer and rancher stakeholder webinar
 The latest news from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) including information about USDA Grants, New Farmer Training Grants, and much more...
USDA NEWS 
 
USDA Grants Support Programs Serving Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers
This week, USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach announced the awarding of $8.4 million in grants through its Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program. This program provides grants to non-profit, community-based organizations, and universities that serve farmers of diverse backgrounds – including Hispanic, African-American, tribal, and veteran farmers.
Over $17 Million in Funds Available for New Farmer Training Projects
 
This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of over $17 million in grant funds that will go towards organizations with new and already-existing projects to train beginning farmers. These grants will be awarded through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) – the only USDA program specifically dedicated to training the next generation of farmers. The RFA is available on NIFA’s website, and contains detailed instructions on application requirements.
 
 
FDA NEWS 
 
Additional Guidance on the FSMA Farm Definition: Farm vs. Facility Activity
 
As of September 19, 2016, the largest food facilities are expected to be in compliance with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls Rule. Unfortunately, many farms are still struggling with the myriad of new definitions created by the new FSMA rules, and are unsure whether their operation is designated as a facility. As a result, FDA has extended compliance dates and have issued a draft guidance to help farmers evaluate their land’s status.
 
 
SPECIAL GUEST BLOGS 
 
New Report Raises Concerns About Health Impacts from Nitrate in Drinking Water
We are pleased to share the following guest post from National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) member organization, the Iowa Environmental Council (IEC). IEC’s new report provides a critical look at nitrogen pollution and public health in Iowa. As concerns around nutrient pollution and water quality continue to grow, NSAC recognizes and advocates for the critical role that farmers and ranchers have in protecting shared water resources.
Clear and Consistent Food Safety Standards Could Benefit People and the Environment
 
This article is a guest blog by a group of researchers from the University of California Berkeley and The Nature Conservancy. The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act set minimum standards for growing and harvesting produce that apply to farmers and food processors across the nation. While these rules are meant to standardize food safety practices throughout the agricultural industry, many consumers and retailers still consider the federal regulations to be too lax, and farmers struggle to meet these standards.

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